Labor Day Weekend

August 31, 2012

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It's getting colder outside. I can feel the season changing in my bones, which may explain why I've switched back to hot beverages, and relocated my knitting basket. With all the house and garden projects we've got going on right now, there really isn't a whole lot of time to knit, but I'm making it happen whenever and wherever I can.

Mojave Shawl

I started knitting this shawl back in June, about two weeks before we moved to our house, hoping it'd help soothe my nerves. Things didn't work out quite like I planned, though, and I had to shove it in my knitting basket unfinished. As these things tend to go, I forgot all about it until late August, and then it only took me a day or two to finish.

It still needs blocking, and I've got loads of ends to weave in, but I'm happy with it. I used Knit Picks Gloss, which is a wool-silk blend that's soft and huggable. And! I still have about a 300 yards left of the brown stuff. Enough for another project.

Wool Leaves

I've also been working on this blanket. I wish I could photograph the color more accurately for you. It's dark and coppery in real life, but it looks kinda flat in all of my photos. Anyway, I love this pattern. It's quick and beautiful, and I can't wait to block it out.

I hope you all have a fun Labor Day weekend! This is the weekend Matt and I were married last year, which is really strange to think about. A whole year has passed already? Crazy.

Up to my ears...

August 28, 2012

Zucchini Relish

Happy Tuesday, everyone. I just wanted to take a moment to direct your attention to my guest post over on Garden Therapy for zucchini relish. It's really tasty stuff!

I think Matt and I are finally seeing the light at the end of our zucchini tunnel. Between the zucchini relish you see above, and this delicious soup (which I've made more times than I can count), I think we've done an admirable job with our zucchinis and crookneck squash this year. Still, we've got a whole bag full of them sitting on our kitchen counter today, so I'm looking for some other good zucchini-based recipes to try. So far, I've made stuffed zucchinis, zucchini breads and muffins, and zucchini lasagna.

Know of any other zucchini recipes I need to try?

Zucchini-Basil Soup

August 22, 2012

Zucchini-Basil Soup

My counter has been overflowing with zucchini for the last two weeks, and I'm so happy about it! Strange, I know, but it's all because of a few amazing zucchini-related recipes I've collected over the past couple years, including this one for zucchini-basil soup. I've made it three times already this month (doubling the batch each time), and I still can't get over how rich and good the flavor is. It's smooth and creamy without any potatoes or dairy (unless you add a splash of cream over the top like I sometimes do). 

Zucchini-Basil Soup

Sometimes I'll garnish my bowl with some cooked chard and leeks - whatever happens to be growing in the garden - for a little texture, but I usually eat it as-is, straight out of the pot accompanied by thick slices of toasted sourdough bread drizzed with extra virgin olive oil.

I should also mention that the reason I prepare a double batch each time I make it is because this soup keeps well in the refrigerator. Matt and I like to eat it cold for lunch the next day, especially if it's hot outside:

Zucchini-Basil Soup
4 pounds zucchini and/or yellow crookneck squash
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons butter 
5-6 cloves garlic
4 cups water
1 handful of basil leaves, rinsed
Salt to taste

Rinse zucchini and remove ends. Slice lengthwise, and chop into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic cloves, and cook until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the chopped zucchini and/or squash, and a pinch of salt, and cook for another five minutes. Add the water.

Bring water up to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender (about 25 minutes). Remove from heat.

Add the basil leaves. Puree using an immersion blender until completely smooth. Taste and add salt as necessary. Pour into bowls and serve warm with bread or crackers.

Note: Soup tastes amazing hot or cold.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.

Elsewhere

August 17, 2012

Happy Friday, friends. I know things have been a little sparse around here lately because I've been busy canning, harvesting, and playing in the sun, so I wanted to share a couple posts I wrote over at My Own Labels with you real quick before kicking off for the weekend.

Baked Doughnuts

My first post is for baked doughnuts, which are seriously tasty, and would make a great project once the cooler weather kicks in. You could even coat them in sugar mixed with pumpkin pie spice for an autumn vibe.

Candied Jalapenos

My second post is for candied jalapenos, which are perfect for those of you growing peppers in your garden this year.

I hope you all have a fun, relaxing weekend! Matt and I will be driving out to Canby for the county fair and rodeo tomorrow. I haven't been to the fair in years, so I'm a little excited.

And it begins.

August 9, 2012

Zucchini Relish

We were hit with some heat last week, so the garden is exploding with zucchinis and green beans. This means that the pickling season has officially begun! Of course, this puts a little dent in our plans to re-do the kitchen floors this weekend, but that's okay. We're rolling with it.

Jar Count
Applesauce: 11 quarts
Zucchini Relish: 7 pints

TGIF

August 3, 2012

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Time to relax, have fun, and play in the sun. Happy Friday, everyone!